Earth Day is around the corner, a time when we can bask in the beauty of spring — the season of growth, renewal, hope and change. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to introduce you to some inspiring members of the global AJWS community working to protect the environment and cultivate more equitable societies. These bold activists believe a better world is possible, and they’re ready to till the soil themselves. We’re also gathering signatures on a petition calling on our leaders to take decisive action to address the climate crisis — join our movement right here.
In this edition of Stories of Hope, you’ll meet a network of young Indigenous leaders in Kenya uniting in their struggle to defend their land, resources and human rights. In El Salvador, a brave crew of LGBTQI+ activists is creating a safe space for people with nowhere else to go. And in India, a group of young women is growing far beyond what society told them they could be after completing a technology and job skills training.
Thanks to your generosity, we are able to support these changemakers and so many others in 17 countries around the world. By fueling their work, you are touching people’s lives every single day, helping communities realize their human rights and live the lives they choose. And just as we bring you their stories to inspire you, please know that your dedication to AJWS’s mission inspires us as well.
We hope you can bask in that feeling of pride, too.
— From your friends at AJWS
Around the World
For generations in Senegal, politics have been overwhelmingly dominated by men. But today, a new generation of women are demanding that their voice be heard — at the ballot box and in the halls of power. AJWS grantee Association des Juristes Sénégalaises (AJS) is giving them the tools to make that change. AJS recently held leadership and political education trainings for over 150 women hungry to shape the future of their country. It worked — today, many are community leaders and elected officials. Meet some of these inspiring women as they invite one another to “come and take your power.”
As COVID-19 swept El Salvador, leaders of LGBTQI+ organization Estrellas del Golfo (Stars of the Gulf) had a unique problem: Their community was losing income, shelter and food much faster than the rest of the population due to discrimination. The Estrellas team rose to meet the crisis head on, creating a canteen that provided food and employment for LGBTQI+ Salvadorans. Now, the canteen has become an important safe space for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations to gather, eat and feel free to be who they are.
A decade ago, AJWS grantee Sadbhavana Trust launched an innovative program to train girls and young women from marginalized and rural communities in India to join an increasingly online world. Today, nearly half of the women who completed the program have paid employment, compared to 20% of women nationally; Sadbhavana’s impact has been immense. Meet four of these inspiring young women who took their futures into their own hands — and read about how one AJWS grantee organization changed their lives forever.
Take Action with AJWS
In the face of growing environmental devastation and an escalating climate crisis, the Jewish concept of bal tashchit — “do not destroy” — guides us to protect the land and water that humanity depends on. So today, AJWS is calling on our leaders in government to take bold action to support people on the front lines of the climate crisis — will you add your name to our open letter?